November Madness

A quick update in the life of the Bolinger’s….  It seems like quick updates are all we have time for these days.  Who else has been busy wrapping up end of the year activities?


That’s what I thought!

DSC_7292-2November Madness included the grand finale to Alex’s Girls on the Run 5K training program with, none other than, a 5K!!!  It was a gorgeous, sunny day (with a bit too much wind for our taste) but perfect temps in which to run anyhow.  Alex wore her handmade tutu, got a green mustache spray painted onto the back of her head for fun, and warmed up with some Zumba routines before the race.

DSC_7289Alex picked her dad to be her running buddy – they both did GREAT!!!DSC_7267Showing our support!  Alex Rocks And So Does Her Dad!!!!!  Go Bananas, Bolinger’s!

DSC_7323-2Then, Alex bridged from Brownies to Juniors in Girl Scouts.  The themes were red roses (troop crest) and rainbows.  I made a LONG rainbow photo poster chronicling the girls’ adventures over the past two years.   And made a couple of rainbow bunting to use as decorations.DSC_7443Each girl walked onto the bridge, stopped in the middle, shared their favorite Brownie Moment, and then crossed over to get their new Junior’s vests.

DSC_7446 Alex was pinned by her most excellent troop leader, Ms. Melissa, and now we’re ready for the next set of adventures!  LOVE this group of strong, creative, curious, happy girls and their parents!DSC_7578-2 We made a quick rainbow backdrop out of plastic tablecloths for family photos…DSC_7574 One of the moms decorated these super cute rainbow treat bags….DSC_7543And, these cupcakes were uber ADORABLE!!!  Chocolate frosting on one side for Brownies, green frosting on the other for Juniors, and a rainbow candy bridge from one to the other!

DSC_7688Immediately following, we participated in Operation Christmas Child at our Shoebox Stuffing Party at church.  Christian is deep in thought as he chooses items to lovingly place in his shoebox for a little boy somewhere else in the world.

DSC_7692This remains one of the Bolinger’s favorite holiday activities!  Look forward to it every year!  I love the idea that a child, who may not receive a gift otherwise, WILL get a Christmas gift, and even more importantly, will receive the Good News of the Gospel too!

DSC_7774-2Next, November Madness brought Alex and Christian’s birthday parties…  Happy 10th birthday to my sweet, considerate, helpful, sporty daughter, Alex Rose!  She wanted a volleyball themed birthday party with a volleyball net set up in the backyard and a brand new teal volleyball to go with it.  Net was purchased.  Teal ball was purchased.  COLD, FRIGID weather set it, just in time for the day of the party….

DSC_7766So, I planned for an indoor volleyball game instead!!!  Truth-or-Dare volleyball plays as follows:  each volleyball balloon had a folded up piece of paper inside with either a truth (question) or a dare.  The girls served and volleyed the balloon back and forth over the couch in the basement.  Each time a ballon hit the ground, one girl had to pop the balloon and read the truth or dare.  Then, each girl had to answer the question and/or participate in the dare.  It was so much FUN!

DSC_7811-2There were volleyball cupcakes


with candles that Alex had a tough time blowing out on her own…

DSC_7867-2It required a group effort…!

DSC_7827-2Alex opened presents!  Then, she and her friends jumped over to the photo booth. Sometimes, I really wish that I could post whichever photos I’d like to on my blog, BUT most of the time, I don’t have permission to display photos of others publicly, and I would rather not make people sign a release form when they enter my house, so I pick and choose which photos of my own family to share.  I say this because the photo booth pics turned out really cute, but I’m not at liberty to post them…

I am free, however, to post these…


Tee Hee!!!!!

DSC_7745Same day, different time, Happy 9th Birthday to my hyper, creative, playful, super imaginative son, Christian!  Christian wanted a Lord of the Rings themed birthday party, so that’s exactly what he got!  The participants were given a mission:  To enter Shelob’s Lair (Shelob is a scary spider from Lord of the Rings).

DSC_7801-2DSC_7956The participants couldn’t trip over or tear any of the webs or they’d wake the sleeping spider and have to start all over….

DSC_7654The kids had to navigate through the web maze collecting 1 lollipop spider and 5 gold rings.

DSC_7783Then, they had to maneuver over to the corner of the room to collect 1 foam sword before making it to the burrow (Christian’s closet) to wait and hide until ALL of the adventurers made it through the lair.DSC_7796All of the adventurers safely carried out their mission and escaped from Shelob’s Lair in time for cake!

DSC_7945Christian had no trouble blowing out the candles on his Lord of the Rings cake!

DSC_7947Everybody ate cake, watched Christian open his presents, and then they all jumped over to the photo booth as well.  And, again, the photos were quite cute…  You’ll just have to trust me.

DSC_7019We went out to Old Town to take family photos for our Christmas cards.  It was tricky trying to schedule this photo shoot around all of the November Madness, including Gregg’s work/traveling schedule.  We picked a date, we got dressed, we drove out to the location.  Then, we realized that is was incredibly WINDY, yet again….  My hair and Alex’s hair was NOT to be tamed.  AND, lo’ and behold, I, Candace Bolinger, forgot my tripod at home.  GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!  So upsetting….  I did end up loving this pic (above) of the kids though.

DSC_8024-2We tried another photo shoot on a different day, and it ended up being really cold.  So, we got right down to business.  The idea for our “Christmas Card Photo” this year was for all of us to wear the handmade hats and scarves that I knitted.  So, we set it up at the entrance to our neighborhood, didn’t worry about driving out to Old Town, didn’t worry about getting dressed up in our nicely coordinated blues/blacks/and grays, and we get what we get and we don’t throw a fit!  Christmas cards have been designed and ordered!  Done!

1450227_10152028731296170_323006518_nThe Bolinger’s hosted Thanksgiving for my extended Wichita family (mom & dad, sister and her husband and kids).  We had a magnificent feast funded by my gracious mother!  It was YUMMO!!!!  I brined a turkey, made stuffins, and garlic green beans.  The Hubbs made his melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes.  Mom brought over a ham, broccoli casserole, veggie tray, and basically, her entire pantry!  Alicia brought a smorgasbord of pies!   We ate yummy food and watched traditional holiday movies.  It was nice and relaxed.

1404956_10152038766416170_1227696381_oIt was Thanksgiving night that I threw my back out…  After lifting and rearranging totes of Halloween, Fall/Thanksgiving, and Christmas decorations in the basement, after stepping up and down, up and down, up and down from a chair whilst decorating the big tree in the front room, after who knows what else made my back cranky that day???  I was bed ridden for two whole days….

And, since nothing exciting happened on those two days, I will take this time to let you know that I have plans to write a separate blog post on my decorated Christmas trees soon.  I designed and decorated a tree especially made for my Hubbs this year (for his office) and he LOVED it!  Can’t wait to tell you all about it!

1450815_10152038545861170_833177652_nBack to the craziness of November Madness, though….  Ben and I have been practicing our piano and cello parts for “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” for the Christmas Recital with Vance Music.  Our group of seven music students rehearsed independently and attended extra rehearsals together in preparation for the big performance!  That performance took place today, and we did it!  It was quite exhilarating to see it all come together!

If you’re still with me, I’m thankful that it’s December 1st!  I’m remaining hopeful that the month of December will be slightly less mad because we have successfully wrapped up a lot of fun activities thus far.  And now, it’s time to start wrapping up Christmas presents instead….

HAPPY to have barely survived the madness of the month of November….!   😀






About cjbolinger

I am a stay-at-home mother of three children (Ben, Alex, and Christian), a wife who is head-over-heels in love with her husband of 13 years (Gregg), a hobbyist photographer, and a lover of everything crafty! Follow my attempts at domesticity as I cook, clean, and craft for my family...
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One Response to November Madness

  1. abbie berning says:

    I was hoping to see some of the Thankgiving Feast photo shots did we get any????? Love the B-day photos and 5 k photos. Thanks for mom

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